EY Ripples initiative aims to reach 1 billion people by 2030

08 January 2020 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Big Four firm EY has launched a new corporate responsibility strategy, which aims to mobilise 1 million people across the firm’s global networks to positively impact the world. The aptly named EY Ripples campaign hopes to use the knock-on effect of this mobilisation to help positively impact the lives of 1 billion people over the next 10 years.

As a new decade dawns, corporate culture is having to get to grips with a number of cultural changes sweeping the world of business. Sustainability is now seen as essential by many clients, meaning firms are having to drastically ramp up their environmental efforts – while more broadly, a new generation of customers is shifting rapidly away from businesses which do not prioritise ‘purpose’ at least as highly as profit.

With the Big Four professional services firms KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and EY having come under intense scrutiny toward the end of the 2010s, the coming years represent a crucial period for each to demonstrate their support for ethical corporate culture. To this end, to mark the start of 2020, EY has launched an ambitious new corporate responsibility strategy, named EY Ripples.

EY Ripples initiative aims to reach 1 billion people by 2030

The initiative aims to mobilise 1 million people across EY’s international network, with the goal of positively impacting 1 billion lives by 2030. EY people are matched up to projects around the world using an online portal, which is also how the firm will track progress against its goals, while in order to achieve this target, EY will expand its action in three focus areas.

First, EY is increasing the provision of not-for-profit consulting services for impact entrepreneurs, wherein EY people support diverse projects to help tackle inequality and drive sustainable growth around the world. In this regard, nearly 500 EY Ripples projects have been completed by EY people so far, with each dedicated to helping scale a business that drives progress toward one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These include bringing clean, affordable energy to off-grid families in Sierra Leone, connect rural Chile to medical care via telemedicine, and provide sanitation for low-income communities in Kenya and India.

EY will also be working to support the next generation to find and sustain meaningful work. This will see the firm expand mentoring, coaching and educational programs focused on supporting the next generation and equipping them with transferable skills for the future of work. Through these efforts, EY people use their skills to help young people and underserved groups to succeed by conveying knowledge related to entrepreneurship, adaptability, machine learning, financial literacy and other 21st-century skills.

Finally, the firm will also support the acceleration of environmental sustainability, working to drive adoption of behaviours, technologies and business models that protect and regenerate the environment while unlocking economic opportunity. EY has already developed and is implementing detailed member firm plans to prioritise action around business travel, office energy consumption, waste and water use, and sustainable procurement. This focus area will be extended in 2020.

Carmine Di Sibio, EY Global Chairman and CEO, said of the news, “We live in a remarkable time in which we have unimagined tools, knowledge and skills at our disposal, and if we better utilise these, we can address many of the world’s toughest social and environmental challenges. EY Ripples is a commitment to play a leadership role in the communities EY member firms operate in across 150 countries, using a wealth of talent, know-how and powerful networks to ultimately create long-term value and achieve the EY purpose of building a better working world.”